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Sunday, June 26th, 2016
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The mystery of the marker tree deepens


By Loni Kemp

Mon, Jun 13th, 2016
Posted in Canton Columnists

Loyal readers may recall that I wrote in my March 21 column about a distinctive tree that lives in the far corner of our woodland. The vertical trunk takes a right angle turn at about four feet high, grows horizontally for about eight feet, and then shoots straight up to the sky.

I’d been aware of the unique maple tree for as long as we have owned our land, but only recently did I become aware of the widespread historical phenomenon of Native American marker trees. All across North America, many tribes used living trees to shape unique forms as landmarks. Our tree has a classic shape used in the past to point to trails, sacred sites, boundaries or other important features.

Because of its shape, its location only a few feet from a property line, and the fact that the former owner of this land was a Native American woman married to a Swedish man, I speculated that this marker tree may have been formed many years ago by that woman or her family to mark their property.

But then a mysterious packet of information arrived in the mail from my friend Sharen Storhoff, an avid member of the Harmony Historical Society. In it were two reprints of newspaper articles relating to the Big Woods, one a 1980 story from the Winona Daily News, and the other an article by Deb Nelson Gourley from 2004 in the Fillmore County Journal. These articles sparked a whole new interpretation of our marker tree.

It turns out it is located on the edge of the Neutral Ground, a 40-mile wide zone imposed in 1832 to keep warring tribes apart by restricting them to specific territories.

Harken back to the early 1830s, before white settlers came to Fillmore County, before Minnesota even existed as a Territory or a State. For over 200 years, starting on the East Coast and moving west, settlers had been moving in on Native American tribes, taking their land and forcing treaties to remove the Indians to new areas. Naturally, those new areas already contained other tribes, and so a complicated history of intertribal fighting and constant migration took place, often within a context of British, French and Spanish wars for control of the land.

In 1832, the U.S. Government held a treaty at Prairie du Chien, one in a long string of treaties, with a goal to coerce peace between a number of tribes in Wisconsin, Iowa and Minnesota by creating the Neutral Ground. A 200 mile long strip of land was drawn on a map of Iowa .....
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Variance granted in Canton

Mon, Jun 13th, 2016
Posted in Canton Government

By Liz Giese The Canton City Council held a public meeting for a variance request immediately before their regular meeting on June 8. At the council’s May meeting, Rob Roy Kelly and Mary Hoffman were present to ask about a building permit and a ..... 
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Canton Fire Department upgrades

Mon, May 16th, 2016
Posted in Canton Government

The Canton City Council discussed potential upgrades for the Fire Department at their regular meeting on May 11. Sheriff Tom Kaase was present at the meeting to propose new radios for the fire department. He explained that local law enforcement a ..... 
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Rene A. Prestby

Mon, May 9th, 2016
Posted in Canton Obituaries

Rene A. Prestby, age 59, of Canton, Minnesota passed away Thursday, May 5, 2016 at Green Lea Senior Living in Mabel following a courageous fight with cancer. Rene was born March 24, 1957 in Dayton, Ohio. She had attended Ohio State University. ..... 
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Charlene Anastasia McCabe Gideon

Mon, May 2nd, 2016
Posted in Canton Obituaries

Charlene Anastasia McCabe Gideon, age 90, of Canton Died Thursday, April 28, 2016 at her home. Charlene was born November 27, 1925, at home near the Burr Oak Township, Winneshiek County, Iowa to Anthony A. and Loretta Agnes (Mullaney) McCabe. She ..... 
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Mabel-Canton D.C. Journals

Mon, May 2nd, 2016
Posted in Canton Education

April 7, 2016 By Megan Melbostad and Hannah Underbakke Waking up at three in the morning isn’t the usual for us, but on April 7, it was acceptable because we were all so excited. Since we were leaving for Washington D.C. at 4:30, we had to be ..... 
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Journal Writing Project: Baseball

Mon, Apr 25th, 2016
Posted in Canton Journal Student Writing Project

By Tannor Fairchild Baseball season is in full swing here at Mabel-Canton. While the seniors were gone on their senior trip, the JV team played some games. They played well and came out with some great plays and some wins. The two seniors got ba ..... 
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Mabel-Canton accepts donations with thanks

Mon, Apr 25th, 2016
Posted in Canton Education

The Mabel-Canton School Board met on April 19 at 7 pm for their regular meeting. Board member Mark Weidemann was absent. The board congratulated Neil Folstad on his retirement from the Mabel Ambulance Crew and thanked him for his years of ser ..... 
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Water tower projects in Canton

Mon, Apr 25th, 2016
Posted in Canton Government

Projects involving the water tower were up for discussion at the regular meeting of the Canton City Council on April 13. Jon Nordsving, lead city maintenance employee, reported that there is still a water leak. He was able to locate the leak, how ..... 
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